Top paying environmental jobs in Canada


Written by Jennifer Schultz, ECO Canada in 2015

For more up-to-date data on environmental salaries, including the highest paying environmental jobs in Canada, take a look at our compensation guide.

While there are other incentives and benefits, salary compensation remains a top factor in employee satisfaction. Salaries for environmental jobs vary, how does your salary compare to the national average and what are the highest paying environmental jobs in Canada?

To help answer this question, ECO Canada recently conducted studies on 6 environmental sub-sectors: Energy, Site Assessment & Reclamation, Air Quality, Environmental Health & Safety, Water Quality and Sustainability. Within these sub-sectors, core occupations were investigated including identifying the average starting salaries and salaries for workers with at least 5 years of experience. This data includes the data for an environmental consultant salary, environmental engineers salary and more.

Note: only 6 areas of environmental employment out of 14 are included here. For a full list of environmental employment areas, see the EP specializations.

Top paying environmental jobs by sub-sector

Below you’ll find information on the types of environmental science jobs and their salary in Canada. This information was first published in 2015, more up to date information can be found either on our environmental careers profiles, or the 2020 Compensation Guide.

Sub-Sector Average Starting Salary Average Salary for Workers with 5+ Years of Experience Occupation with Highest Starting Salary
Energy $63,108 $104,362 Energy Engineers
Air Quality $56,686 $89,320 Occupational Hygienists (Indoor Air Quality Focus)
Water Quality $55,284 $84,239 Hydrogeologists
Site Assessment & Reclamation $54,540 $88,043 Managers/Directors
Environmental Health & Safety $50,350 $81,517 EHS Managers/Directors
Sustainability $49,552 $72,416 Chief Sustainability Officers
See top paying jobs in the energy sector
Occupation Average Starting Salary Average Salary for Workers with 5+ Years of Experience 5-year Gain
Energy Engineer $80,833 $150,455 86%
Business Development / Marketing Manager $78,696 $132,339 68%
Energy Policy Analyst or Attorney (excl. government) $74,818 $125,091 67%
Senior Manager, Production Manager & Supervisor $71,432 $145,622 104%
Renewable Power Project Manager $70,667 $101,467 44%
See top paying jobs in environmental site assessment & reclamation including environmental management salary
Occupation Average Starting Salary Average Salary for Workers with 5+ Years of Experience 5-year Gain
Manager / Director $72,875 $112,500 54%
Hydrogeologist $64,333 $114,667 78%
Project Manager $61,621 $104,808 70%
Environmental/ ECO Consultant Salary $59,000 $103,000 75%
Environmental Engineer $57,325 $94,526 65%
See top paying jobs in air quality
Occupation Average Starting Salary Average Salary for Workers with 5+ Years of Experience 5-year Gain
Senior Manager / Director N/A $133,000 N/A
Occupational Hygienist (Indoor Air Quality Focus) $67,750 $92,650 37%
GHG Auditor / Environmental Auditor salary $62,500 $92,125 47%
Air Quality Project Manager (Scientist, Engineer) $60,500 $108,722 80%
Air Quality Auditor $60,000 $85,000 42%
See top paying jobs in environmental health & safety
Occupation Average Starting Salary Average Salary for Workers with 5+ Years of Experience 5-year Gain
EHS Manager/Director $66,900 $103,000 54%
EHS Engineer $57,900 $98,600 70%
EHS Coordinator/Advisor/Specialist $56,200 $86,900 55%
Occupational Hygienist $44,700 $78,300 75%
EHS Technician $39,700 $67,300 70%
See top paying jobs in water quality
Occupation Average Starting Salary Average Salary for Workers with 5+ Years of Experience 5-year Gain
Hydrogeologist $74,100 $114,800 55%
Environmental Health & Safety Professional (Water Quality Focus) $65,111 $86,000 32%
Watershed Officer $63,485 $81,729 29%
Water Well Driller & Pump Installer $62,486 $108,660 74%
Utility Engineer $57,583 $86,813 51%
See top-paying jobs in sustainability
Occupation Average Starting Salary Average Salary for Workers with 5+ Years of Experience 5-year Gain
Chief Sustainability Officer $80,547 $105,119 31%
Sustainability Consultant $55,761 $68,940 24%
Sustainability Professional – Officer $54,076 $63,222 17%
Sustainability Researcher $53,142 $61,251 15%
Sustainability Educator $44,830 $80,402 79%

Looking for more job salaries and the best environmental jobs?

View salary information for more than 60 different occupations across all 6 sub-sectors.

National vs. Provincial Wages

While knowing national average salaries is helpful, keep in mind they can vary widely across provinces. For example, according to Statistics Canada, New Brunswick’s average salary across all occupations is nearly 11% lower than the Canadian average, while Alberta’s is more than 20% higher. See how your province compares to the national salary average:

NL PEI NS NB QC ON MB SK AB BC YT NWT NU
-9.6% -6.9% -6.9% -10.9% -4.9% 0.0% -2.2% 9.0% 20.1% -4.5% 26.2% 27.1% -7.2%

Conclusion

Knowing the market value of your environmental job can serve as a handy guideline when negotiating your salary or researching your dream career. But remember, knowing the environmental jobs that pay well is only one part of the compensation package of a job. Don’t underestimate the importance of benefits like workplace flexibility, professional development opportunities, and company culture when looking for high paying environmental jobs.

Sources: Careers in Air Quality: Occupational Profiles Report, ECO Canada, 2013 Occupations of Energy Professionals: Scoping Report, ECO Canada, 2012 Careers in Environmental Health and Safety: Occupational Profiles Report, ECO Canada,2013 Careers in Site Assessment and Reclamation: Occupational Profiles Report, ECO Canada, 2013 Occupations of Sustainability Professionals: Scoping Report, ECO Canada, 2012 Careers in Water Quality: Occupational Profiles Report, ECO Canada, 2013

Take a look at our recent research for more information on the best paid environmental jobs in Canada. 

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